New Year’s Eve, Kansas City Style

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As much as I love getting out and exploring our great food and wine community, when it comes to New Year’s Eve, I’m more of a stay home kind of guy. This year, though, as I peruse my options for wining and dining around town, I am more tempted than ever to venture out. The sheer depth, quality, and variety of New Year’s Eve wining and dining options are impressive. Here are some that caught my eye. Perhaps they’ll do the same for you! If you’re going to ring in the New Year with a special dinner, it might as well be accompanied by special wine pairings. You’ve certainly got those combinations at two of my favorite wine haunts – Louie’s Wine Dive & Kitchen and Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen.

At Tannin, located at 1526 Walnut St. in The Crossroads, they are throwing one heck of a party. For $75, guests will be treated to a specially curated four-course dinner and live music. Diners can choose among three and four items within each course and can add a final cheese course for another $12 if they’re still feeling “puckish” at the end of the evening. Wine pairings can be added by the half glass for $35 or full glass for $70. Of course, you can always make your own selections by the glass or bottle from Tannin’s award-winning, extensive wine list. You can view the menu by visiting Tannin’s Facebook page.

Fellow wine-centric themed eatery, Louie’s Wine Dive and Kitchen, is also offering multi-course menus at its three metro locations.  Each location will have its own menu designed by the chef. Overland Park and Waldo will be running limited selections from the main menu along with the tasting menu, and the Louie’s in Liberty will feature its usual menu, plus special New Year’s Eve items available a la carte or as a tasting menu. The four-course tasting menu by Chef Thomas Pelkey in Overland Park is $60- $90 with wine pairings. The three-course tasting menu by Chef Brian Sonnich in Waldo is $40-$60 with wine pairings. And, the four-course tasting menu by Chef Cherven Desauguste in Liberty is for $50-$75 with wine pairings. Reservations are required. Call the Louie’s of your choice and they’ll “hook you up.”

There’s no multi-course dinner at Ca Va, Westport’s charming Champagne bar, but there will be food from their regular menu, music from DJ Boss Hooligan, and a Champagne toast at midnight. As of this writing, Ca Va was sold out for table reservations, but the restaurant says there will be some bar space available for walk-ins, with a $15 cover per person applied after 9 p.m..

Beer lovers can enjoy a sudsy New Year’s Eve at HopCat, also in Westport. Hoptcat’s offering an exclusive craft beer countdown to the New Year. A timed beer tapping will begin at 7 p.m. with a different beer tapped on the hour every hour until midnight. Each beer tapped is exclusive to Hopcat.


Here’s the evening’s beer line-up by hour:

  • 7 p.m. Free State Brewing Co. – Muddy Mo’ – Brown Ale – 5.5%
  • 8 p.m. Saugatuck Brewing Company – HopCat Collaboration Beer – American IPA – 7%
  • 9 p.m. Piney River Brewing Company – Old Tom Porter with Coconut – 5.5%
  • 10 p.m. Boulevard Brewing Company – Sour Grisette – Oak-Aged Grisette 6%
  • 11 p.m. New Belgium Brewing Company – Brut IPA – 6.7%
  • 12 a.m. Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Brett Stout – Wine Barrel-Aged Imperial stout with Brett – 11.3%

There’s no cover charge for the beer tapping, but you will need a reservation. You can accomplish that by calling the restaurant at (816) 656-3439. HopCat is located at 401 Westport Road.

Hotels are always good bets for great New Year’s Eve parties, and the best I’ve unearthed this year is at downtown’s Hotel Phillips and its terrific restaurant, Tavernonna. Reservations for a lovely pre-fixed meal from chef Bryant Wigger are available at 6 and 8pm. The meals are priced at $75 a person. After, if you’re so inclined, you can ring in the New Year, prohibition-style, at the hotel’s underground speakeasy. There will be live jazz from the Leslie Maclean Trio, a Champagne toast at midnight, and what the hotel calls “fun roaring 20’s/30’s swag.” Tickets, priced at $35 per person, are required. And, if you want to make your trip home the shortest ever, you can grab a room at the Hotel Phillips by clicking here.

A new restaurant discovery for me, and one of the newer on the Kansas City dining scene, Silo Modern Farmhouse, on West 87th Street in Lenexa, will feature a custom five-course menu from Executive Chef Laura Favela on New Year’s Eve. The dishes, from a Kobocha Squash soup, to goose popovers, to a pineapple-cider duck breast, will be specially crafted by Favela for the dinner and are not available on Silo’s regular menu. The tasting menu is priced at $65 per person. Wine pairings, priced at $30 per person, can be added for each of the four courses. Reservations can be obtained by visiting or by calling the restaurant at 913-278-0910.

Finally, a couple of “fishy” dinner options for your New Year’s Even plans as two of my favorite seafood restaurants on the planet – Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar and Jarocho Pescados y Mariscos, are hosting holiday dinners.

Jarocho, run by the uber-talented Carlos Falcon, will roll out an four-course dinner with two menu options. The first is all seafood, and the second offers diners traditional Mexican-inspired fare with some seafood added on. There will be complimentary Champagne. The meals are priced at $75 per person. Seatings are available between 5 and 9 pm. Make your reservation by calling 913 281-7757.

Lastly, Jax is hosting what it calls a “New Year’s Eve Feast,” a four-course meal featuring the very best of land and sea. Starting with risotto with mussels and clams before heading into a foie gras torchone and a surf and turf featuring a grilled ribeye and scallops, the meal wraps up with panna cotta. I don’t know about you, but this menu has me considering this as the possible meal of the year in Kansas City. Ashton tells me the menu is an homage to famous Colorado chef Kevin Taylor with whom Ashton got his start at the eponymous-med restaurant Taylor operated in Denver’s Hotel Teatro.  The menu is $65 per person and is available all evening. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Jax at 816-437-7940.

And, if you’re still hungry for more on New Year’s Day, you might think about heading down to Jax again. The restaurant will be hosting its world-famous, family-style Crab Boil, featuring Dungeness and Snow Crab, Andouille Sausage, Shrimp, Corn, and Potatoes. The January 1, 2019 celebration is taking place at 1999 prices, available for just $45 per person. Reservations are recommended.

Yep, the more I think about it, and after having written this, I’m really leaning toward dining out this New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, or both! Perhaps I’ll run into you at one of these great restaurants! Cheers!

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